By means of the literature and classes students will be introduced into these two interdisciplinary fields :

  • Cognitive science: How do people perceive and understand the world, and how is their behavior guided by their perceptions and thoughts? Some topics that will be included are: How can we study mental processes? Can we mathematically model mental processes? Can a machine think? How is thinking related to the brain? How do we store our experiences in our memory? Is the mind a modular system? How do mental representations come about? Do people think by means of formal logic, analogies and concepts, or by means of language, mental images and vague categories? How can technology support our cognitive processes?
  • Decision Making: This comprises the study of how people form subjective judgments and choose between alternatives. Topics are: What is a rational choice? Are people rational choosers? How do people make judgments and decisions under uncertainty? How do people choose with known probabilities? How do they choose between alternative options? How do external factors (context, emotions) influence decision making? How does decision making evolve over time? How can we measure and influence subjective judgments and preferences? How can technology support decision making with tools such as decision aids?


  • history/emergence of cogn. Psy
  • Recognition and perception (object recognition / top-down processes/ face perception / speech perception)
  • Attention (divided / selective attention, consciousness)
  • Working Memory and it’s components
  • Long-term memory (encoding en retrieval)
  • Memory strategies
  • Mental Imagery and cognitive maps
  • Knowledge representation and network models
  • Language (reading/ writing / bilingualism)
  • Problem solving and logic

Decision Making:

  • Rationality
  • Judgments
  • Heuristics and Biases
  • Confidence, covariation and causation
  • Risk and uncertainty (Utility Theory and Prospect theory)
  • Preference and Choice
  • Defaults, nudges and choice architectures
  • Intertemporal choice
  • Intuition & Reflective thinking (Two systems)

Application in technology:

  • Specialized lectures on connectionist models, AI, Recommender systems and decision aids